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Government sabotages local recycling



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MEDIA RELEASE

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY UBio .. MiCAH

August 13 1992 pr 92\436

GOVERNMENT SABOTAGES LOCAL RECYCUNG

The decision to remove the sales tax exemption from some recycled paper products was made on questionable, insubstantial data according to the Australian Democrats.

Democrat Treasury Spokesperson and member of the Senate Committee on Sales Tax, Senator Cheryl Kemot said Treasury could not provide any figures or studies to the Committee which showed the basis of their decision.

Senator Kernot said the removal of tax exemptions on recycled toilet paper, facial tissues, exercise books and paper bags came into effect without warning on the 26th of June.

"The Government claims it had to remove the exemption because of a flood of imported products that falsely claimed to be made from recycled paper. Yet when Treasury was asked to provide figures on these imports it couldn't."

"The Department also couldnt explain why a testing system couldn't be established to determine whether the imports were genuinely made from recycled paper."

"This decision will destroy some small local manufacturers and benefit the dominant major paper producers who are foreign owned and controlled."

"These major producers don't make recycled toilet paper and tissues, but they do produce the other paper products that will continue to be exempt from the tax."

"The rest of the sales tax changes, currently before the Committee, will not take effect until at least December 1st. Yet this Bill, which deals only with recycled paper was introduced separately and completely out of the blue. Why wasn't this issue dealt with in the main piece of legislation?" Senator Kernot said.

"This legislation has not gone through the Parliament yet some recycled paper products have gone up 20% overnight. Shopkeepers are being forced to collect the tax illegally or else face fines if the legislation goes through. Consumers are already feeling the impact of a decision that has not yet been made law."

"I call on the Coalition to join with the Democrats to defeat this legislation and protect Australian small business."

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